AEW Champion Swerve Strickland Discusses Time and Equity in WWE

Swerve Strickland's unexpected rise from WWE obscurity to AEW glory.

by Noman Rasool
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AEW Champion Swerve Strickland Discusses Time and Equity in WWE
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It might seem inevitable now that Swerve Strickland has clinched the AEW World Championship, but his wrestling journey tells a story of perseverance and strategic career moves. Just five years ago, Strickland was merely one of the numerous talents wrestling under the WWE's "205 Live" as Isaiah "Swerve" Scott.

His transition from that stage to a world champion is a testament to his relentless drive and evolution in the wrestling world. During a candid interview on "Bootleg Kev," Strickland shared insights into his remarkable ascent in AEW, a stark contrast to his experience in WWE.

He attributes his success to the opportunity and trust extended by AEW owner Tony Khan from the very beginning. "Tony believed in my potential to grow and excel," Strickland explained. "This belief is fundamental in wrestling, where time and the freedom to build one's character are crucial." Strickland emphasized the importance of time and equity in the wrestling industry, particularly when it comes to cultivating a successful career.

He pointed out the trajectory of wrestlers like Drew McIntyre, who had to leave WWE, only to return stronger and more connected to the audience and the organization. "It’s about building trust and chemistry within the company," Strickland said, reflecting on the organic growth necessary for a wrestler's evolution.

He mused on what could have been if WWE had granted him more time to develop. "Perhaps things might have turned out differently for me there. Maybe it would have gotten better, or perhaps not. But the essential elements in this business are time and trust, which were scarce during my stint with WWE."

Career Impact and Choices

Strickland's story is not just about his achievements but also highlights the often unpredictable nature of wrestling careers.

His experience underscores the disparities in talent management between WWE and AEW and how these can significantly impact the careers of wrestlers. For Strickland, the shift to AEW was not merely a change of employer but an essential step towards realizing his potential as a top-tier professional wrestler.

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